Defense Cross of victim L.S

Michael Travesser / Wayne Bent at sunset

Defense Cross examination of L.S (also called Healed and Eleana) - by attorney Sara Montoya

Judge Baca: Alright, Ms. Montoya you may proceed.

Ms. Montoya: Good morning.

L.S.: Good morning.

Ms. Montoya: I have a lot of questions for you based upon what the district attorney has asked you. First of all, you didn’t want to testify did you?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Why?

L.S.: Because I didn’t want the State to use me to prosecute Michael.

Ms. Montoya: How long has it been since you lived on the land?

L.S.: Seven and one half months.

Ms. Montoya: Healed, I’m going to show you what has been marked as defendant’s exhibit fifty, sixty, seventeen. Can I approach your Honor?

Judge Baca: Yeah.

Ms. Montoya: What is depicted in those pictures?

L.S.: My home.

Ms. Montoya: Now explain... Understand, Healed, the jury doesn’t know anybody. They don’t know the players. They don’t know the situation. So describe for them what you consider home.

L.S.: I guess it’s kinda hard to explain other than wherever Michael is, that’s where home is.

Ms. Montoya: And what’s in the pictures?

L.S.: Michael’s home, Michael’s house.

Ms. Montoya: Describe the first picture if you will.

L.S.: Uhm... there’s a mailbox in the driveway. And there’s a gate.

Ms. Montoya: It’s been a long time since you’ve seen that?

L.S.: Mm huh, mm huh.

Ms. Montoya: So it makes you feel emotional?

L.S.: It’s like, my home.

Ms. Montoya: And so, is all of the land your home?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Who... did you... Who all lives on the land that you consider family?

L.S.: Ah... everyone.

Ms. Montoya: Everyone who lives there. How long have you known people who live there?

L.S.: Since I was born, pretty much. I mean, there’s a few people that have been only for a few years.

Ms. Montoya: I’m going to hand you what is marked State’s exhibit nineteen, twenty, and twenty two.

Judge Baca: Do you mean Defendant’s exhibits? You said State’s.

Ms. Montoya: Yes, I’m sorry Defendant’s exhibits.

Judge Baca: Ok, nineteen, twenty …

Ms. Montoya: And twenty two. What is in that picture?

Judge Baca: Michael’s home and his car.

Ms. Montoya: And would... If the jury got to see these pictures... would it help explain where it was you were on the night in question?

L.S.: I was standing right at the windows that you can see, the back windows of the house. I was standing right below those.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. I remember you telling the jury, "I have some issues," and you felt, "Healed, It was a process of healing." What were you healed from?

L.S.: All my life I felt really insecure and I’ve also had this picture of God that he was this dictator looking down on me waiting for me to do something wrong and punish me for it. And leave me or... And when I went to Michael, he gave me the security that I didn’t have. And he gave me an anchor. And he showed me who God is. And how... how God used me and he’s only interested in my heart and what I want and to help me.

Ms. Montoya: So your view of judging, God may be a vengeful God, changed to that of what?

L.S.: As my husband.

Ms. Montoya: So God is your husband?

L.S.: Mm huh, mm huh. Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. I wanna be real clear about the land and if there’s a ruler over the land. Is Michael in a position of authority over you?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Who is?

L.S.: God.

Ms. Montoya: And is he in authority over everyone on the land, Michael?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Can you describe if he’s not that leader or authoritive figure what is his role?

L.S.: To tell us the truth.

Ms. Montoya: Now let me ask you this. Is there a difference between the man Wayne Bent and Michael?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. So explain. Who’s Wayne Bent?

L.S.: (Laughs)

Ms. Montoya: I know it’s obvious to you, but these people don’t know so we need to explain it to them. Who is Wayne Bent?

L.S.: Wayne Bent is the natural flesh, natural body, natural self, the natural man.

Ms. Montoya: So he’s a man.

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. How is that different from Michael?

L.S.: Michael’s the spirit.

Ms. Montoya: So Michael is not a man in your mind, right?

L.S.: It’s kinda hard to explain because Michael, Michael’s spirit is in Wayne’s body. And Wayne, Michael’s human form is Wayne’s body.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. So when you say you love Michael, are you in love with that spirit?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Are you in love with the physical body of Wayne Bent?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: No. Ok. So, when you say, "I love Michael," it’s something about God within you. Is that correct?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. Now there was a period of time when you moved away from the land?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And you moved to Capulin you said.

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Why did you move back to the land? What made you? I should back up. Why did you want to live off of the land?

L.S.: Well, I originally left because I wanted animals and the reason I went back was I realized, I didn’t want animals.

Ms. Montoya: So would wanting animals cause you to need to live off the land?

L.S.: Yes, because you can’t have animals there.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. Why is that?

L.S.: I’m not really exactly sure.

Ms. Montoya: Is there a practical reason why there aren’t animals on the land?

L.S.: Well, I guess one thing is if everybody had a cat there’d be fifty cats. And if everybody had a dog there’d be fifty dogs. Or... you know it would be very noisy.

Ms. Montoya: Ok.

L.S.: It gets kinda confusing. I don’t... I don’t.

Ms. Montoya: So, originally you felt that you wanted animals. A pet is that what you mean?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. So then you decided you really didn’t want one?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And that’s why you went back?

L.S.: Well, I realized I didn’t want animals, but I also realized I wanted something deeper. I wanted God. And I was... uhm... I’m sorry I lost my train of thought. I’m trying to bring my thoughts back.

Ms. Montoya: Well, let me ask you... You said you had insecurities. Did something happen to you iving off the land that caused some of that insecurity?

L.S.: Oh, yes.

Ms. Montoya: What was that?

L.S.: I had been molested by another man.

Ms. Montoya: Not Wayne Bent?

L.S.: No, not Wayne Bent.

Ms. Montoya: Some other man?

L.S.: Yes.

Emilio Chavez: Objection, your Honor.

Judge Baca: Alright, let’s approach. Actually let’s send the jury out. This will take a little bit to resolve. So, let me ask you to step into the jury room for a minute and we’ll call you out in a few minutes. Thank you.

Jury Leaves

Judge Baca: Alright you may be seated. Thank you ladies and gentlemen for stepping out. I thought it was going to take longer, but we actually took care of it pretty quickly. Alright Ms. Montoya you may proceed.

Ms. Montoya: So, Healed... Do you know the difference between good touch and bad touch?

L.S.: Most definitely.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. Why were you allowed to live on the land without your parent?

L.S.: Because my parents let me.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. How old were you when you were there by yourself?

L.S.: Thirteen. Well, I think I was almost fourteen. But, I was thirteen when I first went there.

Ms. Montoya: And you said that you had asked your father about going through this ritual, this laying naked?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And he was going to think about it or pray about it or something of that nature?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: What was it he said to you?

L.S.: He said that he would have to pray about it.

Ms. Montoya: Ok, and did he?

L.S.: I don’t know.

Ms. Montoya: Did he ever get back to you with an answer?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. After your parents learned about laying naked with Michael.

L.S.: Mm huh.

Ms. Montoya: Were you allowed to continue to live on the land?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: So, they knew about it?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And they let you to continue to live there?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. And how about A.S., did she continue to live there?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. There’s been some discussion about school.

L.S.: Mm huh.

Ms. Montoya: You said, "Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t." Explain that would you? Who was your teacher for the home schooling?

L.S.: Well, it was kinda actually more like self taught. And I didn't really need someone to teach me cause it was like the books pretty much explained everything. And so, it wasn’t like I really had a particular person that helped me.

Ms. Montoya: So did your mom ever sit down with you and go over the books or assign papers to get ??

L.S.: She would... She would check tests and grade things and stuff like that.

Ms. Montoya: And did they ever tell you, "Come on L.S., you need to finish this book," or "You need to finish this study?"

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Were you forbidden to study or to have schooling?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. Not by anyone?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: And you said something about a calling to God. Do you have a calling to God?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And you believe that within you?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And you said that you were sharing what God was revealing to you. Do you hear God?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Is it a literal voice that when you hear him, that other people in the room can hear him?

L.S.: No. It’s not like an audible voice.

Ms. Montoya: Explain that to the jury. What’s it like to hear God?

L.S.: It’s a knowing in your heart. I guess you could call intuition.

Ms. Montoya: And do other people experience that voice from God or hear God’s voice?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: I don’t know how they worded it... Other people have that you have lived with and known?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And when they say they heard God, do you believe them?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: When you say you heard God, do they believe you?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And when Mr. Bent said, or Michael, I don’t know who at that point was saying, that the young people would finish the work...

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: ...with God, it was God’s work? He wasn’t asking you at that time to do anything in particular was he?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: And the jurors heard a little bit about seven virgins or seven messengers, you called it.

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Now explain what it was that they did. Something about plagues …

L.S.: Oh, yeah... uhm They pour out the seven last plagues of Revelation. The first one’s a sore. The second, one is sea turned to blood. And...

Ms. Montoya: So these are things that were in the bible?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: So, there wasn’t someone out on the land pouring out blood was there?

L.S.: No. (laughing)

Ms. Montoya: So this was a ceremony?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok, was it a religious ceremony?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Now this, lay naked, was that a religious ceremony?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And you believed it was a religious experience?

L.S.: Oh, definitely.

Ms. Montoya: Can you describe what was different about you before and after?

L.S.: Well, like I shared earlier, I had a lot of insecurities growing up and it’s like laying naked with Michael gave me an anchor, a security I didn’t have.

Ms. Montoya: I want you to explain about skin to skin.

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Because people get an idea in their head, who aren’t used to the way you all talk. Does that mean everybody gets naked and rubs up against each other? Is that getting skin to skin?

L.S.: Not everybody. (laughs)

Ms. Montoya: So what skin are we talking about?

L.S.: Nonsexual skin. (laughs vigorously)

Whole court room is laughing.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. So, are we talking about hands?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Where are the hands laid?

L.S.: On the sternum.

Ms. Montoya: Ok, that gets us to this point. On this doll, there are certain parts of her body that are covered by cloth. Did Wayne Bent touch your body on any of the parts, any of the parts that are covered by clothing on this doll?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok, where?

L.S.: On my hip.

Ms. Montoya: On your hip?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And the hip is covered with cloth. Can you point for us where?

L.S.: He put his hand right here.

Ms. Montoya: On your side?

L.S.: Yes, on my side.

Ms. Montoya: The intimate parts... would you consider that to be an intimate part of your body?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. And the time that he touched you on your side...

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Was it this night that we’re talking about, was it July thirty-first?

L.S.: I think so, yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. But the other parts that are covered, particularly between the legs, on the back or on the front that are covered by the bikini, did he touch any of those parts?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Are you sure?

L.S.: I am most positive.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. Was there anything sexual about your going for the healing with Wayne Bent?

L.S.: No. In fact, I wouldn’t say that I really have had any sexual experience and to me it had nothing to do with that.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. You were one of the seven virgins

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Are you still a virgin?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Do you intend to stay a virgin for the near future?


You’re not looking to change that? Right?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. You said you wanted something you didn’t have. Can you describe what you didn’t have?

L.S.: A knowing that I was accepted by God and that he loved me.

Ms. Montoya: And when Michael laid his hand on you, did he tell you, you were accepted?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: What words did he use?

L.S.: I don’t really remember other than, "I accept you," or "You’re accepted."

Ms. Montoya: Ok. But were there any words that were encouraging you to do anything sexual with him?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: He wasn’t encouraging you to touch any naked parts of his body?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Have you seen him naked?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: So, that’s gonna cause some confusion. Ok, because I think people think when you said he didn’t have clothes on, that you saw him naked.

L.S.: It was dark and there was no lights on.

Ms. Montoya: So, when you walked into his room was he in his bed sleeping?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Before you got there, he was sleeping,but obviously when you were there, he wasn’t sleeping. But, so, was he under covers?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. So his intimate part, you’ve never seen?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Or felt?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: And you said, when you were writing journals at the time, not the one we saw today, but the ones that you were writing at the time, basically described the process you were going through. So how long was the process?

L.S.: About a month.

Ms. Montoya: Are you in danger, if you go back to live at Strong City?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Does Wayne Bent or anyone who lives there encourage you to commit delinquent acts or things that are bad for you?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: What kind of things do they encourage you to do?

L.S.: Follow God’s voice to my heart.

Ms. Montoya: Have you ever been in any kind of trouble with the law or...

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: L.S., I’m going to hand you what’s been marked as defendant’s exhibit forty two and forty three. Do you recall that situation where those pictures were taken?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: When was that?

L.S.: It was November first, two thousand and six.

Ms. Montoya: Wow, you remember the date. What was going on that day?

L.S.: A plague was being poured out.

Ms. Montoya: And there’s some people there in white robes. Is that usual? Do people walk around on the land with white robes?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Ok. So it was special for a ceremony, is that correct?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Was it a religious ceremony?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: I’m handing you what’s been marked as defendant’s exhibit fifty. Who’s in that picture?

L.S.: Michael and I.

Ms. Montoya: What are you doing in that picture?

L.S.: Holding his hand.

Ms. Montoya: What’s he holding?

L.S.: My hand.

Ms. Montoya: What’s on his lap?

L.S.: A song book and a bible.

Ms. Montoya: Where was that at?

L.S.: In our meeting barn.

Ms. Montoya: So, you did have religious meetings?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Ok, were you singing?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: I’m going to hand you what’s been marked as exhibit, defendant’s exhibit seventy one. Who’s in that picture?

L.S.: Me and my aunt and a... she’s related down the line, and then my family, the rest of my family.

Ms. Montoya: So you consider all those people your family?

L.S.: Yeah.

Ms. Montoya: Were you happy?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Were you ever feeling in danger?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Did you feel like your safety was ever an issue?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: What about your well being? Do you think anything about your welfare was in question when you were there on the land?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Why? Why were you safe there?

L.S.: (No response)

Ms. Montoya: Is the land different than living out in the world?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: What’s different about the world?

L.S.: Well, a lot. But there’s...


...rapes and murders and molestations and all kinds of things happen in the world that don’t happen at Strong City.

Ms. Montoya: So, none of those things, to your knowledge, has ever happened at Strong City?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: I’m going to hand you what’s been marked as defendant’s seventy two. Who’s in that picture?

L.S.: Me.

Ms. Montoya: You don’t look happy. What happened?

L.S.: There was a lot of things I was dealing with at the time and uhm...

Ms. Montoya: What would cause you to become emotional and bring tears to your eyes?

L.S.: Michael encouraging me. That’s...

Ms. Montoya: Encouraging you to cry?

L.S.: No... I’d been sharing. I shared with him what I’d been dealing with and he encouraged me. Well, I remember one of the things and most people probably aren’t going to understand this, but uhm... I felt harassed by demonic spirits and I was sharing it with Michael and one of the things I remember Michael sharing with me that touched my heart in this particular time was he told me that the demons would see me a mile off and go running.


And it really encouraged me. And that’s what my tears were about.

Ms. Montoya: And explain, would you please, because I know what you mean by demons and demonic. You don’t mean the devils running around the land with a pitch fork and trying to tempt you to do bad things, do you? Well, what do you mean by demonic?

L.S.: More like uhm... depression internal things uhm...

Ms. Montoya: Typical of what everybody experiences. Probably as a teenager?

L.S.: Probably.

Ms. Montoya: Ok, I’m going to hand you what has been marked defendant’s exhibit seventy four. Do you recognize that?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: What is it?

L.S.: It’s a letter that I wrote Donald Gallegos.

Judge Baca: I’m sorry a letter to who?

L.S.: Donald Gallegos.

Ms. Montoya: And in that letter, did you explain to Mr. Gallegos that no sexual touching took place?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: We would move defendant’s seventy four into evidence your Honor.

Judge Baca: Any objections?

Emilio Chavez: No objection, your Honor.

Judge Baca: Let me look at it.

Ms. Montoya: Healed, do you stand by the words that you wrote to Don Gallegos in that letter?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Thank you. So when you say Michael encouraged you, did he ever encourage you to do bad things or things that were not safe for you to do?

L.S.: No. (laughter)

Ms. Montoya: Ok, so what kind of... When you say encouragement, is it in a positive way?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: And is he with that, is he like that with everybody at the land?

L.S.: Yes.

Ms. Montoya: Did you ever consider yourself out to be special or like he was focusing just on you?

L.S.: No. I would, you... There’s been times that I’ve been with Michael and you know it’s... you know... it was focused on me, but it’s because I don’t really know how to explain it. I guess my answer to your question is, "No."

Ms. Montoya: Ok.

L.S.: But, it wasn’t like, like I was a special person, compared to everyone else.

Ms. Montoya: And I think everybody was a little bit disturbed when you cried earlier. Where are the tears coming from?

L.S.: (a few deep breaths and gasps, like starting to cry)

Ms. Montoya: I’m not trying to make you cry again, so don’t go there. But uhm... can you describe the emotion that you, you feel when you are not allowed to go back to the land and you’re not allowed to talk to your family.

L.S.: I feel hurt. I feel sorrow. I feel heartache. (slight cries)

Ms. Montoya: Do you want to go home?

L.S.: Yes. (a couple of sobs)

Ms. Montoya: Now, if you go home are you in any danger from Michael or Wayne Bent being sexual with you?

L.S.: No.

Ms. Montoya: Ok, thank you. We have nothing further.

Judge Baca: Defendant’s exhibit seventy four is admitted.

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